Friday, 2 May 2014

Preoccupation with Potholes

 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  Luke 9:23 NIV

A week or two ago I wrote about how devastating this past winter has been on the roads in the US Northeast.  We have potholes that look more like fishing holes.  For those of you not familiar with the term pothole, these are large gaping holes that show up in the middle of our road ways.  My wife, Kathleen, who is my most faithful reader suggested that we expand the pothole analogy.  The following is joint effort. The more insightful comments are hers, but I probably didn’t need to tell you that.

A really bad winter reveals weak spots in the road’s surface, spots that heretofore had been undetectable.  These small fissures begin to widen until large holes begin to form.  When a roadway is left unattended over a long period of time it may require major reconstruction, so it is with a marriage that has been neglected for years.

Things can seem fine for a long time so we forget to keep working on our marriages.  Stressful times like bad weather can reveal weak spots in one’s marriage.  Perhaps the stress fractures in the marriage start out small but over time just like the potholes in the road the gaps in the marriage become huge.  Often one of the partners is totally surprised but normally a marriage doesn’t disintegrate overnight, most likely there were warning signs.

When the road gets bad enough and the municipality that has the responsibility to maintain the road receives enough complaints from tax payers the road will get repaired.  That is not the best system but it works.  There doesn’t seem to be an equivalent warning for couples.  The longer the marriage goes unattended the less likely it will ever get repaired.

As I see it a couple has essentially three choices.  They can get a divorce, but the emotional pain, anguish and expense associated with a divorce is well beyond what most couples imagine.  They can continue to live in the situation just as it is, trying to avoid the potholes for another 20 or 30 years.  Or they can do the major work to rebuild from the bottom up.  

Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to make working on your marriage a priority before the first fissure shows up?

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